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Publication numberUS20030164044 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/320,671
Publication dateSep 4, 2003
Filing dateDec 17, 2002
Priority dateDec 17, 2001
Also published asUS7387026, US7987720, US20090013763, US20090013764
Publication number10320671, 320671, US 2003/0164044 A1, US 2003/164044 A1, US 20030164044 A1, US 20030164044A1, US 2003164044 A1, US 2003164044A1, US-A1-20030164044, US-A1-2003164044, US2003/0164044A1, US2003/164044A1, US20030164044 A1, US20030164044A1, US2003164044 A1, US2003164044A1
InventorsJames Gayle
Original AssigneeGayle James Edward
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Ultraphonics array system
US 20030164044 A1
With the proper use of Ultrasound at the most efficient frequency correctly selected for the application will bring success in a myriad of applications for diagnostics. This system is designed to use ultrasound at a selected frequency for leak detection of automobiles on the assembly lines without the interruption of the assembly process and to be non intrusive to the car. With transmission of this proper frequency from inside the vessel and if no orifice is available for the tone to escape the receiver that is tuned to the transmitter will not be excited thus the auto passes. When the tone is detected by the receiver, it will communicate to the A/D converter that will in turn signal the software that will evaluate the signal to determine the fate of the vehicle as in a pass or fail mode depending on the volume of the leak or the location of the leak. The software system will store the data for collective evaluate and also communicate to a central database of multiple locations for management evaluation.
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I claim
1. A system for detecting a liquid or gas leak formed by imperfect matching of materials; by generating a self contained AM Ultrasound tone in a high enough frequency to penetrate the opening or passage leading to the outside of said vessel; the tone will be received by an ultrasound receiver matched to the transmitter frequency; the ultrasound receiver converts the ultrasound signal to an audible AM signal; the signal is then sent through an analog to digital converter to be sent to the computer where the software evaluates all of the receivers placed in straight places to determine location of said leak and through the use of amplitude can determine the volume of the leak; thus allowing the system to determine magnitude of said leak.
2. A method as defined in claim 1; self-powered transmitter allows usage on moving objects or assembly lines.
3. A method as defined in claim 1, transmitter has microphones that send signal in a 360 degree Array within said vessel.
4. A method as defined in claim 1; the system is calibrated for distance to determine proper amplitude so as to show proper levels of volume of leakage on computer screen of said vessel.
5. A method as defined in claim 1, with the fixed receivers and the vessel passing by the receivers and the computer aware of the location it gives a definite determined location and volume of the leak.
6. A method as defined in claim 1, the conversion of the ultrasound frequency by generating a tone from a coil at a predetermined frequency that the Hartley Oscillator generates allows the outbound signal to give the receiver an audible frequency to use for easier use and lower speed of A to D conversion.
7. A method as defined in claim 6, the acoustic ultrasound receivers can vary in numbers due to the size of the vessel you are evaluating.
8. A method as defined in claim 6, due to the process of the receiver the lower speed allows the use of the analog to digital conversion and the use of multiple receivers.
9. A method as defined in claim 6; the capability of recalibrating the receiver internally allows one to also move the frequency thus giving it the advantage of determining and negating a foreign signal that might interfere with the transmitter or receiving signal.
10. A method for detecting the software allows frequency amplitude and number of locations with a visual screen with alarms available to drive communication whether it is visual or audible.
11. A method for detecting; with the use of a defined ultrasound AM signal and the collective process of capturing that signal with the receiver processing that signal at the microphone and carrying that signal via its own power source to the A to D converter gives the degree of accuracy not available in the past.
12. A method as defined in claim 10; system accurately stores, analyzes, and recalls data for comparisons of past analysis.
  • [0001]
    The invention of this device was the direct result and in answer to in depth and long-term research of current leak detection methods and devices that are in prevalent use throughout manufacturing industries today including that of the automotive industry. These evaluation and detection methods and processes are often times destructive, time consuming, messy, unreliable, and without pinpoint results; i.e., water spray booths for leak detection in the automotive industry ruin millions of dollars of vehicle accessories per year, soap bubble testing for leaks in air, liquid, or gaseous systems are inaccurate and create messes that can contribute to unsafe/slip and fall potential hazards. This research also found that a method of leak detection that was more cost efficient and that created a cleaner manufacturing environment would be very well received by all parties concerned.
  • [0002]
    These factors set Microphonics/Ultraphonics and Jimmy Gayle into motion to resolve the aforementioned deficiencies through the use of ultrasound. The vast knowledge and experience in the area of ultrasonic detection was already in existence within this company and was put to great use in the invention process of a product which would solve the above problems in a cost effective, easy to use detection system that was readily adaptable to the manufacturing environment. It was determined that with the proper use of ultrasound technology and by designating the proper frequency level for sending the signal from within the vessel or system and for receiving these distinctive, identifiable signals from the outside of the object being tested that a very reliable and accurate leak detection device could be created. It was also determined that with the use of A to D Converters that the received signals could be changed from analog to digital signals thus creating the ability to have these signals stored on a computer. The software that has been developed evaluates the signals at the predetermined frequency giving the user much more accurate and distinctive information that has not been available previously due to the inherent presence of background noise, which produced false readings. This software also brought about a much needed method of record and data retention and increased analytical potential. Since this acoustical information and/or sound energy is in a state that can be evaluated, the amplitude that the receiver hears and processes to the computer gives these signals very distinctive and specific sound waves for greater accuracy in evaluation. This greatly enhances the opportunity to determine size and volume of the leak through its amplitude without the need to sift out those noises as stated earlier. This diagnostic process vastly improved the reliability of the output information and instilled a confidence not experienced before when using other methods via implementing the use of an AM frequency that is generated within the 41,000-hertz category.
  • [0003]
    In answer to the needs as described above, Microphonics/Ultraphonics and Jimmy Gayle have developed the new Ultraphonics Array System. This product is in the final stages of completion and will be marketed in the very near future.
  • [0004]
    With the technology strides that are currently available and with the intent of progressive companies to enhance their systems and methods to be more reliable and dependable and to achieve better results in the quality of their products and the manufacturing of these products, this system was created. This diagnostic and detection system was also developed to improve the environment through the conservation of energies and water while creating a more employee friendly atmosphere. Great cost efficiencies are realized not only through those conservations as stated in the previous sentence but also through reduced detection time and by getting the job done correctly the first time.
  • [0005]
    The system was developed with the intent of being easy to use with little or no interruption in the flow of a manufacturing operation and to be non-intrusive to whatever is being tested and to those conducting the testing while simultaneously producing very reliable results. For example, in the manufacturing process of an automobile, the placement of a 41,000-hertz transmitter inside a vehicle that is ready for its final evaluation on the finishing line passes through this array assembly. The array system has multiple receivers mounted on the sides, the top, and the bottom. As the vehicle passes through the array, the bar code is read and identifies exactly which automobile is being evaluated. The system stores that bar code and tracks the vehicle as it proceeds through the array during this leak detection test. The receivers are located in such a manner as to maximize the receipt of the ultrasound being transmitted from the interior of the vehicle. Should an imperfection exist in the external structure of the vehicle such as a hole or a gasket that is not seated properly or a windshield that is not water tight, the receiver for that designated area will pick up ultrasound emitted through this opening. The higher frequency/smaller wavelength sound can pass through very minute openings making this detection possible. The computer program pinpoints the receiver involved and records the exact location of the imperfection while the vehicle passes through the arch-like system. If the amplitude is of the level or above the level that has been chosen by the engineers to reject the automobile, it will cause a light on the top of the array to flash signaling that the car is being rejected for potential leak areas. The computer will provide the exact location of the leak so that the appropriate repairs may be performed. The operator of this system will also have a hand-held receiver that is tuned in to the frequency of the transmitter and allow him to evaluate that vehicle off line, implement the needed repairs to the vehicle, and allow him to re-check the vehicle to insure that it does indeed meet specifications.
  • [0006]
    As the computer has processed that given vehicle, collected the data that determined whether it passed or failed the test, and defined where the problem was located and what the problem was, this data will be combined with other similar data for the purpose of analyzing and used to make improvements to the manufacturing process. This data can also be used to determine those areas of the manufacturing process that are performing well and use this data as a foundation to build on. These evaluations, data, and percentages can become powerful decision-making tools. The system possesses the ability to be combined with other manufacturing process information and data within that location as well as with multiple plant locations or even company wide. The continued analytical uses and derived benefits can be endless. Because the receivers on the array or arch process the signal immediately and convert it to a lesser frequency, it can be dealt with at a more rapid rate and stored with less volume in speeds of A to D conversion. This system creates the opportunity for the testing process to be operated at a pace that can reach that of 10 times faster than most assembly lines could ever hope to achieve. The software has the ability to produce a wave form from the automobile and, also, to run real time FFT so that one is able to determine exactly what the frequency is being transmitted from within the vehicle to verify that the system is hearing that same frequency. No interference occurs and no phantom sounds are transmitted which could produce false readings. This system verification gives the operator the confidence that the system is producing factual information.
  • [0007]
    The number of receivers available on the arch has a variance depending on the size of the vehicle and/or the length of the vehicle and/or the degree of evaluation that is needed for a particular vehicle or other manufactured object. The arch or array can also be adjusted for height and width dimensions to accommodate larger or smaller objects of testing. The transducers can be moved in and out on a horizontal basis or on a vertical basis to accommodate particular out riggings or structures that are present on the tested object.
Patent Citations
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US4901576 *Apr 8, 1988Feb 20, 1990Robotic Vision Systems, Inc.Acoustic leak-detection system
US6430988 *Jan 26, 2000Aug 13, 2002M.E.C. & Co., Ltd.Ultrasonic leakage inspection device of non-pressure type
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7698946Feb 24, 2006Apr 20, 2010Caterpillar Inc.System and method for ultrasonic detection and imaging
US7730768Oct 25, 2006Jun 8, 2010Qst Holdings, LlcSystem and method for controlling emission of acoustic energy for detecting leaks in vehicles
US7849735 *Apr 29, 2008Dec 14, 2010Dr. Ing. H.C.F. Porsche AktiengesellschaftApparatus and method for testing flow noise
US8365580Nov 9, 2005Feb 5, 2013Qst Holdings, LlcSystem and method for automatically judging the sealing effectiveness of a sealed compartment
US20040123648 *May 2, 2002Jul 1, 2004Michael StumpfSystem and method for automatically judging the sealing effectiveness of a sealed compartment
US20060053867 *Nov 9, 2005Mar 16, 2006Michael StumpfSystem and method for automatically judging the sealing effectiveness of a sealed compartment
US20070107488 *Oct 26, 2006May 17, 2007Scott FarrellSystem and method for enabling calibration of sensors used for detecting leaks in compartments
US20070107497 *Oct 25, 2006May 17, 2007Scott FarrellSystem and method for controlling emission of acoustic energy for detecting leaks in vehicles
US20070109137 *Oct 25, 2006May 17, 2007Scott FarrelSystem and method for reporting information indicative of the sealing characteristics of a sealed compartment
US20070109138 *Oct 25, 2006May 17, 2007Scott FarrellSystem and method for detecting leaks in sealed compartments
US20070112528 *Oct 25, 2006May 17, 2007Scott FarrellLeak detection system and method
US20070136088 *Oct 25, 2006Jun 14, 2007Scott FarrelMethod for diagnosing a leak related problem in a vehicle
US20080271536 *Apr 29, 2008Nov 6, 2008Dr. Ing. H.C.F. Porsche AktiengesellschaftApparatus and Method for Testing Flow Noise
US20090025454 *May 29, 2008Jan 29, 2009Scott FarrellSystem and method for detecting leaks in sealed compartments
U.S. Classification73/592, 73/40.50A
International ClassificationG01N29/44, G01N29/34, G01N29/11
Cooperative ClassificationG01N2291/106, G01N29/11, G01N29/4445, G01N29/348, G01N2291/2695
European ClassificationG01N29/34F, G01N29/11, G01N29/44D
Legal Events
Aug 30, 2004ASAssignment
Effective date: 20040826
Effective date: 20040826